A TOTAL of 6,000 people from the Leigh and Wigan area have signed a national fireworks petition which has been handed to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Collected for Wigan borough MPs Andy Burnham, Ian McCartney and Neil Turner, it calls for key reforms to existing fireworks laws.

Public displays would have to be controlled by licenced pyrotechnicians, fireworks would be on sale only at certain periods of the year and strictly from licenced vendors.

Leigh MP Mr Burnham said: "I'm not against people enjoying fireworks but things are getting out of hand.

"This is effecting the quality of life of people and I know as the parent of young children the problems caused by loud fireworks going off late at night."